Did you think that just because you built a website, people will start viewing it? No such luck. With the billions of websites out there, you need to really put yourself in front of peoples eyes in order to create website traffic. It is a tough road ahead, but once you are there it becomes viral.
In my opinion, marketing is the fun part. This is when you get to see customers finally coming to your business, or business website. I am a search engine marketing expert with over a decade of experience. I learned through trial and error when I first started my own business. I then turned my marketing experience into a new business in itself. That alone allowed me to bring in an additional $250 per month per customer.
Marketing is your bread and butter. The saying “if you build it, he will come” is just not true. If he/she does not know it exists, then you will only hear crickets rather than the cha-ching of cash registers.
Offline and online marketing are two different animals. When you are marketing offline, you are probably getting personal with your customers, talking with them face-to-face or passing out fliers. After awhile you will have a viral version of offline marketing called “word of mouth”. A good way to get your offline marketing started is literally to get out there and start talking to people. Don’t try and sell your business right away. That could turn people away fast. Rather, speak with people and listen to what they have to say, and then work your business into the conversation somehow.
Internet marketing is my specialty, and I love to talk about it. I know what Google is thinking before they do! Internet marketing is a MUST if you have a business website. When building your website, it is important to know that search engine optimization has to be built into it from the beginning.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a process you use to make your website “spider friendly”. A spider is a script that search engines use that “crawl” your website and read everything. Spiders read every bit of text on your website and index it for later use. After the spiders are done reading crawling your website, another part of the search engine places all of your content into it’s algorithm. The algorithm decides where your website should show up in search engine results for any given keyword or keyphrase.
It is important to use ethical seo standards on your website. Search engines are in business to bring search engine users relevant results. If a search engine does not show relevant results, then the user will not want to come back and search on it. Because of this, search engines are in business to know all of the “black hat” tactics that spammers use. They know about hiding black text on black backgrounds of your web page, and they know that your visitors cannot see that text. Therefore, it is a technique to try to manipulate search engines results. As such, search engines will penalize your website for using such a tactic, and your website will either appear much lower in results, or be banned altogether.
When doing seo work, it is important to learn everything you can about it first. Then, forget some of what you have learned, because every seo professional out there thinks that they are an expert. A lot of them know a good amount of what they are talking about, but some think they are experts because they have also read everything they can find about seo online. The real experts have gained their knowledge through trial and error. If you are hiring a seo professional, it is important to keep this all in mind. Make sure their work is clearly spelled out in a contract.
Internet marketing itself is bigger than seo alone. Internet marketing includes submitting your website to search engines and directories, building inbound links to your website from other websites, and taking part in social networks to build your brand. Do not just rely on search engine optimization to bring in traffic to your business. Keep in mind that there are thousands if not hundreds of thousands of other people in the same industry as you trying to get on the first page of Google for the same keywords as you.
Join Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Digg, Twitter, and various other social networks out there. Take part in them regularly by posting bulletins, classified ads, comments on other people’s pages, etc. Try hard not to be “spammy” and actually be a normal user of these networks. You can always build your company into a conversation once you have established the conversation. Spamming will only get your banned. If your do-it-yourself Internet marketing efforts bring little results, feel free to contact me and sign up for a monthly internet marketing package. They run around $300 or so per month to start as of this writing.
When I began marketing my business, I used leverage. I was able to barter my web-based services in exchange for print and web ad space in a major news publication. Think outside the box when marketing and establish relationships with other businesses that can help you network.